World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2013-10-27 06:15 PM

Mystic Q&A, Diablo Screenshot Art, PCGamer With a RoS Preview

Giveaway Conclusions, Hearthstone Highlights, Weekend Tournaments, Opt-In Update

Character Level Scaling
Patch 5.4 added an interesting feature to the game that allows character levels to be scaled down in dungeons. It isn't normally active, but can be activated with a trick in a few different lower level dungeons. This shouldn't come as a big surprise, as the developers mentioned that this system was mostly in place in the Patch 5.4 interviews.

Right now the system clearly isn't finished, as some spells cannot be cast due to your scaled character level, stats on the character frame are not consistent, pet abilities aren't scaled down properly, and your scaled level is only reflected in tooltips and not unit frames.

This system might be related to a new type of instance added to the game files in Patch 5.4, "Timewalker". This isn't actually implemented officially for any instances yet, so treat it like any other datamined information until something is announced.

You can see an example of scaled down gameplay and stats below, but keep in mind things aren't supposed to be balanced at all yet, and no stat squish has happened, so even though gear and level is scaled down, we still had more player power than would be intended.

Connected Realms Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As previously announced, we’ve been working toward connecting realms to increase the number of players on low-population realms, and since then have completed several connections. As a part of our ongoing communication, we wanted to provide you with an update that contains a list of completed realm connections, currently planned connections, and any additional future plans in one convenient location.

Completed Connections
  • Auchindoun and Laughing Skull
  • Black Dragonflight and Skullcrusher
  • Aegwynn and Gurubashi
  • Balnazzar and Warsong
  • Burning Blade and Onyxia
  • Chromaggus and Garithos
  • Dalvengyr and Dark Iron
  • Dethecus and Detheroc
  • Dunemaul, Maiev, Boulderfist and Bloodscalp
  • Hakkar and Aegwynn
  • Rivendare and Firetree

Next Realm Connections
We plan to progress with two additional batches with the first batch connecting on Monday, October 28. These realms will be down for maintenance from 6:00 a.m. PDT through approximately 11:00 a.m. PDT and will be complete once made live.

Batch 1
  • Blackwing Lair and Detheroc/Dethecus
  • Anub’arak and Chromaggus/Garithos
  • Drak’Tharon and Firetree/Rivendare
  • Blood Furnace and Mannaroth
  • Nesingwary and Vek’nilash

Once determined, dates and times for the next batch will be provided in the General Forum and in-game breaking news.

Batch 2
  • Haomarush and Detheroc/Dethecus/Blackwing Lair
  • Stonemaul and Bloodscalp/Maiev/Boulderfist/Dunemaul
  • Tortheldrin and Frostmane
  • Winterhoof and Kilrogg
  • Gul’dan and Skullcrusher
  • Lightning’s Blade and Burning Blade

Plans for these connections may change at any time, but we’ll provide additional updates on specific dates for future connections here as we can. Please note that as a part of the connection process realm times may change to match each other.

For more information on Connected Realms, please read the preview blog post here.

Connected Realms Feedback
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
they dont connect realms to fix faction imbalance
Faction balance is definitely being considered, but it is a tricky factor though, because generally the factions are not balanced within the same realm types.

If we were connecting PvE realms with PvP realms, then faction balance would be much less of an issue since our PvP realms are typically Horde heavy, and our PvE realms are typically Alliance heavy. But since we have to connect realms within the same realm types, the population will be increased on the connected realms but we cannot fully balance the factions on all of those realms.

That being said, the overall population situation on those realms should feel vastly improved overall once we are done with the whole process, so although the outnumbered factions in some cases will remain outnumbered, they should still see a nice boost to their numbers.

Will you keep adding more realms if connected realms are still too low?
Sure. As an example; Emeriss and Hakkar have been connected now, and Crushridge will be connected with those two realms next, and more realms will be connected to those three in the future.

Remember, what you are seeing now is just the beginning. Plenty more connections will be made, which means that it is way to soon to proclaim doom and gloom on the few connections that have been made so far

I'm sorry, once more, but You are connecting 2 COMPLETELY empty servers to emeriss. why would you connect 3 realms together while 1 has an "ok" amount of 90's, emeriss in this case, and 2 thats made of thin air? isn't it better to connect hakkar with emeriss and crushridge with another realm like emeriss? I don't see it fullfilling the purpose of populating the realms further, nor help the technical issues by mixing in massive amounts of realms without it changing anything.

hakkar and crushridge basically contributes nothing to emeriss, but ofc, the other way around, emeriss contributes to them, But why would you attach 2 empty realms to the same one? wouldn't it be serving a much better purpose connecting those nothingness realms to one other realm?

Because those three realms will be connected, the population will effectively be larger on all the three realms. Right now it might not feel like much of a population boost for the players on Emeriss, but it will already feel like a significant population boost for the players on Crushridge and Hakkar. We have just begun the realm connection process though, and more realms(yet to be announced) will be connected to Hakkar, Crushridge, and Emeriss.

In short, once the entire realm connection process is complete for Emeriss and all the realms(some that are still to be announced) that Emeriss will be connected to, players on all of those realms will feel like they are playing on one single well populated realm.

As I mentioned before, this is only just the beginning of the realm connection process, so it is a little too soon to declare doom and gloom

after seeing that Scarshield Legions and Spooregar will be merged, isn't it better to just merge the RPPVP servers with each other?
The plan is that Scarshield Legion and Sporeggar will be connected with more realms in the future, but we cannot connect all realms in one go. We have to do it in a staggered manner to make sure that realms will be connected 100% correctly without any complications.

One of the reasons why we are not announcing all the planned realm connections right away is because we want to be careful with raising false expectations in case something does not go according to the plan. If we announce specific realm connections in advance, then we will naturally raise a lot of hope and expectations for the players on those realms scheduled to be connected, but if some unforeseen complications would then arise that would result in us not being able to connect some realms as planned, then we will have a lot of upset and disappointed people.

Hey Vaneras i´m curious to know whats th target population for each final group of connected realms. Something like a high populated server? or Medium?
I can't give you any specific numbers,

But the target is high population realms with some additional capacity for new players and/or migrating players. We basically want a healthy population for the connected realms, but not so high that there will be queues from the get go.

High Population Realms
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Our realm forums are filled with queue posts and no one is responding to any of them so STOP! pouring people into realms that already have 1-2 hour queues.
We are not directing people into the high population realms—we actually warn players against creating characters there—and your feedback is not being ignored.

With the specific aim of tackling this issue, we set up FCMs for every realm that has a queue. For some time now, we’ve been offering FCMs to realms with a medium population, so no one should fear being moved to a realm with hardly any other players.

Also, when people opt to play on a realm which is clearly marked as “full”, they are warned that this may result in a wait to play. In fact, if there is a queue on the realm at that particular time, players should be unable to migrate characters there or create new ones (unless they have one there already to my knowledge).

Currently, if players with friends or family on high population realms wish to make characters there so they can play together, they are able to do so as long as there’s no queue at that time. CRZ and the associated technology has made it possible to do many things with friends on different realms, so there should be less of a desire to move to these high pop realms, but clearly they still appeal to people. As always, we’re considering and monitoring this with the aim of improving the situation for everyone.

Well but connected realms will not solve the Queue-problem. Empty Main-cities are empty main-cities. I surely will not transfer off of Stormscale or Outland just because it's free to Low Pop Servers. It just "feels" good to be around other players in main hubs. If Blizzard connects also cities - then really everyone can say "i dont care" on what server I play on. Which is just the right solution for everyone. Cross-Realm for everything.
Despite us offering FCMs to medium pop servers now, many still perceive these realms as low pop, and are reluctant to move there. Once Connected Realms are in place, hopefully people will be happier to move from realms with queues to these revitalised realms with healthy populations.

You know why people refuse to move? Because those so called "medium" population realms have 1/4th of full server populations. Take silvermoon for instance, it's alliance PVE heaven - huge population concentraded on a 1 faction. Target server might have different faction ration too which cuts the number of players by 75% or more. Number of pugs and people in general on peaktime there is less than Silvermoon has at 2 AM servertime.
Yeah, we've seen feedback that people don't like moving to quiet realms after being on busy ones, which is why we changed the FCMs to realms with higher populations. Having said that, even those realms will seem quiet after being on one like Outland for example, and I understand the reluctance. We have to be careful which realms we send people to though. If we offer FCMs to a realm with a nice healthy population, we risk creating queues there too.

Faction balance is a different matter, but we always try to help with that when creating the FCMs. In reality though, people on a realm where their faction is dominant will be hesitant to move to a realm where it's no longer the case. If we offer FCMs to people who are in the minority faction, those few remaining players may abandon the realm and make matters worse.

It's natural, especially on PvP realms, that people will gravitate towards realms that favour their faction, and over time the size difference grows. Blocking certain character transfers or character creations to tackle this isn't really ideal for those who want to play alongside friends.

i also suspect theses Qs are artificially created as they did not exist in 5.3 or 5.2 on silvermoon
No. The queues are purely from the number of people logging into the realm. They have not been "falsely created" in any way so please put away the tin foil hats. The only thing that impacts realm queue times is the number of people that wish to play on a certain realm at a certain time.

We're at an interesting time right now, what with Connected Realms being implemented. Populations are bound to be in flux while realms are connected. As I mentioned earlier, when all realms have a healthy population we're hoping FCMs will have a much larger appeal, but either way we can better analyse the situation when the dust starts to settle.

why must i PAY to move my guilds?
It's simply not built into the FCM automated system. That's something that is still being considered though, it's also a matter of resources and priorities, as always.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
the lack of future information is making WoW boring for me. I have nothing to be excited about. Any new news soon?
We often talk about WoW at Blizzcon. (Source)

Even though there's a lot to do, the lack of clear direction gets me logging in less. Hopefully a balance in the future!
We agree that the lack of direction, especially when new patches come out, is a big problem. (Source)

why dont you let us the players decide what we feel is unfun?
A good question, and there are a few reasons. A) Players don't agree on what is fun. (Source)
B) There is no efficient way to communicate that information to us. (Source)
Then how about providing us a means to communicate properly & efficiently to you folks?
Players have a tendency to write really long forum posts, which makes it even harder to extract useful feedback. (Source)
C) Players aren't always great at predicting what changes they will like or not. (Source)
A common sentiment in game design is that players know what they like, but not always why. (Source)
Those maxims sound more condescending than intended. (Source)
Their aim is really to discourage designers from getting into the mode of trying to please everyone too much. (Source)
Another is that players are great at detecting problems and much worse at suggesting solutions. (Source)
so why are most replies to the people who complain with no solution rather than only those with ideas?
It's difficult to give someone who put a lot of effort into their pitch a reasonable critique, esp. given the volume we get. (Source)
On the other hand, it takes no time to try and discourage complainers and makes my twitter feed easier to read in the long run. (Source)

Why is a vanity pet called a companion while a combat pet is called simply a pet? It should be the other way around!
We discussed that, but the word "pet" meant too many different things and we were reluctant to attempt to redefine too much. (Source)

Why all the hush hush about VRealms, yo? Want my realm connected!
We're not trying to keep it hushed. We're just rolling it out cautiously to make sure it's a good, stable experience. (Source)

Is balance based on topguilds only?Bcs this OP wlock dmg from no t16 2/4piece, me not being is non existent = /
We strive for balance at a variety of skill and item levels because we have players at a variety of levels. (Source)
by Published on 2013-10-25 06:32 PM

Blizzcon in a Box Contest winners have been PMed, please check your PMs so you don't miss out!

Patch 5.4.1 - RaF Changes, EU Connected Realms, Dampening Hotfix, Blue Posts, Comic

Inside the BlizzCon 2013 Goody Bag
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
With BlizzCon just around the corner, it’s time to share the adorably lethal secret that waits inside this year’s Goody Bag. . . .

As a memento for joining us at the heart of the storm, BlizzCon attendees will receive a BlizzCon 2013 Cute But Deadly Souvenir Set featuring the delightfully menacing likenesses of Arthas, Kerrigan, and Diablo. The result of a universe-crossing collaboration, this trio kicks off an exciting new line of figures—and there are even more cute but deadly surprises to come. This limited-edition set is an exclusive gift for BlizzCon attendees, and will never be reproduced for commercial sale. Now isn’t that special?!

Check out the Cute But Deadly lineup below:

by Published on 2013-10-25 06:11 AM

Blizzcon in a Box Contest Ends Tonight!

Reaper of Souls First Look: The Mystic

NA Connectivity Issues, Opt-In Waves, Hearthstone Highlights, Beta Key Giveaway Reminder

Patch 5.4.1 PTR - Build 17513
Build 17513 was deployed to the PTR realms yesterday, with tooltip updates being the only spell changes.

This patch is a ~3 GB download and combines all of the previous Mists of Pandaria patches into one file. This should allow the launcher to remove all of the old patch files that have built up over the expansion, saving a little bit of disk space and having to go through multiple files to patch assets that changed over the expansion while playing.

Recruit a Friend In-Game UI

Recruit a Friend Pet Rewards
Some pets that were previously only used for promotions in Asia are now Recruit a Friend rewards.

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Item Set Bonuses
  • Item - Mage T15 4P Bonus Increases the effects of Arcane Charges by 20% 5%, increases the critical strike chance of Pyroblast by 5%, and increases the chance for your Frostbolt to trigger Fingers of Frost by an additional 6%.

Warlock (Forums)
  • Haunt You send a ghostly soul into the target, dealing [ 2,804 + 262.5% of Spell Power ] Shadow damage and increasing all periodic damage done by your spells on the target by 0% 35% for 8 sec. Warlock - Affliction Spec. 1 Soul Shard. 40 yd range. 1.5 sec cast.

Next Connected Realms (EU)
The first set of EU Connected realms is going live today and it looks like the next batch will be coming next week!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As a part of our ongoing Connected Realms implementation, we will be connecting additional realms as listed below. We don’t have a specific date yet on when these connections will occur, but we’ll provide another update once we do.

Realm Connections:
  • Mug’thol and Dethecus/Theradras
  • Temple Noir and Naxxramas
  • Crushridge and Emeriss/Hakkar
  • Sporeggar and Scarshield Legion

We’ll provide updates on the next batch of realm connections as they're available. For more information on Connected Realms, please read the preview blog post here.

Upcoming Dampening Hotfix
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We agree that matches where one team decides they can’t win (usually because they’ve lost a player), and thus decides to play defensively in an attempt to force a tie, don’t really make for fun gameplay. In fact, one of our original goals for 5.4 with The Crowd Chose You was to eliminate that sort of behavior. We’d much prefer matches to end with a winner whenever possible through fair play.

To that end, we’ll be applying a hotfix that will add one small tie-breaker. After the hotfix, if a match should last for the full 20 minutes, the team with the most players left standing will be awarded the victory. If both teams have an equal number of players alive, the match will still end in a draw (as it does currently).

We feel that this will continue to encourage players to try to defeat the other team, while discouraging them from dragging the game out hoping for a tie, without any other major impact on player behavior. We’ll give an update to the official hotfix blog when this hotfix goes live.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Connected Realms
I was wondering why are all the realms getting merged PvP ones, both in US and here, without any PvE ones getting merges? Any particular reason for this?
No special reason other than we have to start somewhere. Not to worry though, low pop PvE realms will get some love too soon enough

Why are low pop realms connected with other low pop realms? it should be a high pop realm with a low pop realm.
We have just begun connecting realms, and many more connections are planned still. Once we are done with the entire process, the population on all connected realms should be quite healthy

Any plans on connecting full servers with dead ones and moving people over. Or just splitting the server in two, but keeping them connected? Here in Draenor its a mad house. 1000+ queue lines some times, was made to wait for an hour and a half once.
The current high population realms that have queues will remain as they are today, however we are monitoring the situation on those realms. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Arena Queue Length
Klause is correct -- we were actually just unable to start new Arena matches fast enough. Turns out, you guys really like to PvP.

We pushed a hotfix last night that should have cleared up the issue and sped up queues significantly. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

LFR Queue Time
In my experience, queue times can vary depending on a few different factors including the time of day and which day of the week it is. I usually end up trying to get my alts through on a Tuesday night, and the queues often seem quite short at that point.

If time is your main obstacle, you might want to consider getting a group of like-minded guildies or friends together and tackling it on Flex difficulty at a set time each week (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Reaper of Souls First Look: The Mystic
It looks like Reaper of Souls will be bringing back the Mystic that was removed from beta, adding Transmogrification and Enchanting (similar to Reforging in WoW).

Dark Legacy Comics - #412
DLC #412 takes a look at how many free to play games work.

by Published on 2013-10-24 06:12 AM

Blizzcon in a Box Contest, Patch 5.4 Hotfixes: October 21

Blizzcon in a Box Contest, Design a Legendary Part 1, More on Design a Legendary, Blue Posts

Hearthstone Deck Building Hints, Opt-In Waves, Beta Key Giveaways

Patch 5.4 Hotfixes: October 23
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Garrosh Hellscream
      • [Requires a realm restart.] Kor'kron Reapers now deal less damage on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • [Requires a realm restart.] Minion of Y'Shaarj's Empowering Corruption now heals for 15% of health (down from 30%) and increases damage dealt by 20% (down from 50%) on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • [Requires a realm restart.] Harbinger of Y'Shaarj's Y'Shaarj Touched now heals for 2% of health per second (down from 5%) and increases damage dealt by 20% (down from 50%) on Raid Finder difficulty.

Next Connected Realms (US)
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We will performing maintenance on the realms listed below on Thursday, October 24 from 6:00 a.m. PDT until approximately 11:00 a.m. PDT. Once these are available again, these connections will be complete. We will provide additional updates as needed.

Next Realm Connections:
  • Dethecus and Detheroc
  • Auchindoun and Laughing Skull
  • Hakkar and Aegwynn / Gurubashi
  • Rivendare and Firetree
  • Dunemaul and Bloodscalp/ Maiev/Boulderfist

Next Connected Realms (EU)
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’re kicking off the Connected Realms implementation here in Europe, and below you can see a list of the first realms to be connected. We don’t yet have a specific date for when these connections will occur, but we’ll provide another update once we do.

Realm Connections:
  • Hakkar and Emeriss
  • Taerar and Echsenkessel
  • Burning Steppes and Kor’gall
  • Theradras and Dethecus

We’ll provide updates on the next batch of realm connections as they're available. For more information on Connected Realms, please read the preview blog post here.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Repair Costs
On face value the existence of repair costs may seem questionable, however as others have pointed out it does serve a purpose.

Without loss or the potential of losing something, the feeling of success diminishes. Some of the most punishing games can also be the most rewarding, which can be important for players. To state that repair costs are only an artificial gold sink is not quite accurate, they should deter players from dying within the game and indirectly act as an incentive for success.

The initial point about having meaningful gold sinks in the game is valid and it's something we've worked towards with a number of features, such as the Void Storage. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Dampening and Necrotic Strike
We’re paying very close attention to Dampening, we understand that sparing Necrotic Strike seems like a controversial decision but we don’t really think it should be considered so; Necrotic Strike's mechanics are also very often misunderstood, so maybe that has something to do with it.
Like I said, we’re monitoring this very closely, and even though we’re confident in the outcome of this latest change, things might still change. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

BlizzCon 2013 World of Warcraft Global Invitational: Meet the Teams
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The World of Warcraft Global Invitational is set to rock BlizzCon 2013 and we have just the teams to do the job. Eight top 3v3 Arena teams from around the globe have been invited to compete in the World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational, taking place November 8 and 9 at BlizzCon in Anaheim, California.

The teams battling it out in each group has been chosen as follows:

Group A
  • MiR (EU)
  • Skill-Capped (NA)
  • Flash Wolves (TW)
  • The Last Battle (CN)

Group B
  • Bleached Bones (EU)
  • PvP-Live (NA)
  • LG-IM (KR)
  • LKD (CN)

To help you figure out which team to root for, we’ve put together a quick overview of who’s made it to the big dance.

North America
  • Alex 'Sodah' Ringe
  • Rodney 'Talbadar' Pare
  • Adam 'Chanimals' Chan

Sodah and Talbadar are no strangers to the WoW Arena scene, but they’ve never carried the same flag until now. The two have built a strong respect for each other over years of rivalry, and this year they hope to combine their skills with Chanimals’ Warlock experience to defeat anyone the world can throw at them. The trio will represent Skill-Capped, a site dedicated to improving and growing the community’s understanding of WoW PvP.

PvP Live
  • Kyle 'Novoz' McKitrick
  • David 'DannyCarey' Cook
  • Michael 'Thugonomics' Negley

Novoz and Thugonomics have been competing together for several seasons now, but haven’t yet been able to claim a spot on top of the pedestal. For this year’s BlizzCon, destiny helped round out their roster and brought DannyCarey’s monk to try to weave victory from the mists for Thugonomics and Novoz.

  • Jonathan 'Minpojke' Andersson
  • Mathias 'Zunniyaki' Esterlechner
  • Youness 'Nóliferqt' Dorqoch

The members of MiR met each other about two months after the start of Arena Season 13 in May 2013. They then focused their skills predominantly on playing a Shadow Priest, Frost Mage, and Restoration Druid, a combination that allowed the trio to remain the highest European team throughout the entire season.

Bleached Bones
  • Jamie 'Blukstack' Garcia Acebal
  • Simon 'Boetar' Heinks
  • Rene 'Swapxy' Pinkera

Bleached Bones has participated in several tournaments, such as the 2011 and 2012 European Regionals, 2012 World Championship (BWC) in Shanghai, and the recent Bleached Bones and MiR Gaming online tournaments. Bleached Bones has been playing together as a team for over a year now, and thanks in part to their success in tournaments and on the European ladder, the team has gained the synergy and team dynamics required to beat the best of the best. Since last year’s BWC, Bleached Bones has been getting in as much practice as possible, playing hours and hours every day to prepare for BlizzCon 2013 and to show their skill and experience as a team.

The Last Battle
  • [TBD] Yang 'Bqsslol' Wenbin
  • [TBD] Li 'Holylolz' Yang
  • [TBD] Yeung 'Feelfear' Wing Yu

Yang Li and Wenbin Yang played on the team DoubleG at the 2012 World Championship. This year, they’re playing under the name “The Last Battle” to acknowledge that they’re getting older, and that they believe this is the last year they’ll be able to make it to the global stage at BlizzCon—an opportunity they’d like to cherish as much as possible.

  • [TBD] Yang 'Yunainai' Huajun
  • [TBD] Zhang 'Badcat' Wenfeng
  • [TBD] Niu 'Hanaichuan' Muzhi

BadCat previously competed against his current teammates in the Chinese World Championship 2012 qualifiers, but their mutual enjoyment of the challenge and variety of play the Arena affords them has brought these former rivals together to strive for victory in the World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational at BlizzCon this year.

  • Jinhyung 'Avenger' Park
  • Jongmun 'Shotky' Shin
  • Seungmin 'Nooker' Ok

LGIM competed at BlizzCon as 'Kimchi Man' in 2011 and at the 2012 World Championship as LGIM, and this is their third consecutive time participating in the World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational. Warlock player Adouken, who led the group for the past 2 years, has left, but a new member 'Nooker' has joined—and their lineup has never been so formidable. LGIM has been throwing in everything they have to honing their skills and teamwork, and their performance is something to look forward to.

Flash Wolves
  • Wei-Yi 'PrankCat' Chen
  • Kwok 'Nightrain' Yuk-Nam
  • Che-Yuan 'Shunsha' Chang

Flash Wolves was formerly known as TEAM ROCCAT, and Prankcat is a veteran of global tournaments play. Due to the team’s outstanding score in the 2013 World of Warcraft World Championship Series Taiwan Finals, they gained sponsorship and are able to represent Taiwan for the second time—and they’re determined to win the World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational!

You can catch all of the action shoutcast by Jared 'vhell' Coulston, Adam 'Hoodrych' Brown, Isaac 'Azael' Cummings-Bentley, and Blizzard Community Manager Josh 'Lore' Allen for FREE via the official BlizzCon 2013 live stream, available at The coverage starts Friday at 11:45 a.m. Pacific time following an introductory pre-show. Make sure to take a look at the complete Friday and Saturday schedule so you don't miss a moment.

Blizzard Art
Blizzard added more pieces to the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Art gallery.

by Published on 2013-10-23 04:22 AM

Blizzcon in a Box Contest, Patch 5.4 Hotfixes: October 21

The Gothic Feeling in RoS, Paladins and Crusaders, Blue Posts

Hearthstone Innkeeper's Invitational: Player Spotlight

Siege of Orgrimmar Raid Schedule
Don't forget that Siege of Orgrimmar Raid Finder Wing 4 opens this week! The raid is now open on all difficulty levels.

Arena Popularity
Holinka shared some information about how the new region wide arena pools and new mounts are working out.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
How are queues 3 times as long now that there's 10 times as many people with 1 big pool?
To be quite honest, the bottleneck is spinning up games fast enough. A lot of people are queuing. We're working on a fix right now.
This is utter music to my ears. Thank you so much! I was starting to worry WoW PvP was dying, but far from it!
Just to bang the "people love rewards" drum a bit more, 3v3 has seen a big jump (probably do to the mount achievement).
It's mainly due to the 2s experience being so bad, imo- people cap in 3s instead.
2s is doing better than usual as well

Patch 5.4 Hotfixes: October 22
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • The number of guild members needed to be considered a guild Group in Flexible difficulty has been reduced. Previously, the number of guild members required in Flexible difficulty didn’t account for the scaling group size. It now requires 80% of the current group size, rounded down.
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Garrosh Hellscream
      • Hellscream's Warsong now grants a 75% increase to Physical damage dealt and health (down from 125%) on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • Touch of Y'Shaarj now has a 4-second cast time for players (up from 3 seconds) on Raid Finder difficulty.
      • Reduced the health of Minions of Y'shaarj on Raid Finder difficulty.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Arenas
    • Players who pick up a Shadow Sight orb will be unable to stealth for the duration of the effect.

Next Connected Realms
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As a part of our ongoing Connected Realms implementation, we will be connecting additional realms as listed below. We don’t have a specific date yet on when these connections will occur, but we’ll provide another update once we do. Please be aware that as a part of the connection process realm times may change to match each other.

Next Realm Connections:
  • Dethecus and Detheroc
  • Auchindoun and Laughing Skull
  • Hakkar and Aegwynn / Gurubashi
  • Rivendare and Firetree
  • Dunemaul and Bloodscalp/ Maiev/Boulderfist
We're currently evaluating further realm connections and will provide updates as they're available.

For more information on Connected Realms, please read the preview blog post here.

I am on Bloodscalp any way of a having one communal forum for recruiting guild info etc. instead of 4 individual ones.
It's something we're discussing. We haven't decided anything as of yet though. It may be something that we will need to wait and do after we've determined all of the connections. We'll keep you all informed as much as possible..

Dampening and Necrotic Strike
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Ultimately it will be more difficult to heal through necrotic strike with dampening present, just like it will be more difficult to heal through ALL kinds of damage. That is the explicit purpose of the effect, and it will not benefit necrotic strike any more or less than any other attack.
Precisely. After some discussion, we came to the same conclusion. Necrotic Strike's healing absorb is no more or less difficult to heal through than actual damage. You deal with it in the exact same way: by healing the target. To put it another way, Dampening is intended to slowly lower healing output, while the amount of healing needed stays the same. To that end, we think leaving Necrotic Strike unaffected by Dampening is the right call.

I think it's also probably important to note that we're keeping an extremely close eye on how Dampening works out, not only in regard to specific concerns like Necrotic Strike but to its effect on gameplay as a whole. We feel pretty confident that Dampening will do what we'd like it to, but we'll be monitoring it closely until we're sure.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Queue System
I've noticed that the queue always pops right after you leave the computer to get something to drink.
Devs have been experimenting with sentient “troll” code from some time now…

Seriously though, adding such an option would only cause more issues than it would solve.

Imagine entering a raid and everyone is AFK
No one likes queues right? We're always trying to improve the queue times by adjusting anything that might influence players’ behaviour in positive ways. In the end though, queues are something really simple, and unless we completely revamp standard raid requirements for heal/damage/tank slots, there’s only so much that devs can do…

The system has improved quite a lot since early days though. We’ve dynamically added goodie bags to the most “needed” class specializations, added the option to queue with one specialization and loot with another, and tweaked around with the goodie bags loot in order to make it more enticing. But, at the end of the day, queues are made up of players and player choices, and this is very tricky thing to solve, it begins with getting the right answers to the right questions.

For example, if you try to find out why are tanks always in high demand you’ll probably get very mixed responses.
-Is it less exciting to play a tank than other specs?
-Do they gear up faster than other specs? If so, why? (might lead to circular argument)
-Is it the “higher” responsibility of tanking/leading?
-Is it because they only have a few slots and that makes players afraid they won’t get guild spots?

If you have any other questions and/or answers please do share them with us, this could actually make an interesting discussion. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

AskMrRobot Update
Now that Siege of Orgrimmar is fully open, AskMrRobot has a helpful blog post on the best ways to get more gear! Keep in mind that there is a free trial available for any premium features.

Fan Art Update
The World of Warcraft Fan Art Section has been updated with new fan artwork.

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